The hosts built up an encouraging 21-10 halftime lead, and stretched it to 28-20 in the third quarter, but a yellow card for replacement loose forward Jaco Coetzee with a little over 10 minutes to play paved the way for the Xerox Golden Lions to force their way into the lead, which they clung onto for the win in the competition sponsored by DirectAxis Financial Services.
DHL Western Province put their effective rolling maul to good use in the first half, which paved the way for all three of their tries in the opening 40 minutes. Hooker Scarra Ntubeni scored twice – in the 10th and 33rd minutes – as he dotted down the ball over the chalk from strong rolling mauls, while scrumhalf Paul de Wet scored the other try after receiving a well-timed pass from a maul and dashed to the tryline.
The Xerox Golden Lions, in turn, broke out of the blocks with a high tempo display early in the match and they tried hard to navigate their way through the effective Capetonian defence, but they only managed to break through once thanks to a powerful shove by lock Ruben Schoeman. The successful conversion pushed their score to seven points.
The Gauteng side struck first in the second half with a penalty goal, and they scored their second try in the 52nd minute compliments of hooker Pieter Jansen from a pick-and-go following a rolling maul, which reduced their deficit to one point.
DHL Western Province struck back shortly before the fourth quarter with fullback Dillyn Leyds scoring their bonus-point try after stepping on the gas following a stunning pass from Ruhan Nel, which gave them some breathing space on the scoreboard.
The team continued to place pressure on the Xerox Golden Lions and create a handful of chances to score, but they were unable to capitalise on it. The team was dealt a blow soon after as Coetzee was sent to the sin-bin, and the Jozi side capitalised on this minutes later with a penalty goal by Shaun Reynolds – who had a solid day with the boot with three conversions and three penalty goals - which pushed them within five points of the hosts on the scoreboard.
Speedster Tyrone Green scored a stunning individual try thanks to his pace in the 72nd minute, and the conversion handed them a 30-28 lead with seven minutes to play. DHL Western Province had a great opportunity to edge their way back in the lead with a long range penalty goal, but the attempt was unsuccessful, which saw them suffer their second defeat in a row.
DHL Western Province 28 (21) – Tries: Scarra Ntubeni (2), Paul de Wet, Dillyn Leyds. Conversions: Josh Stander (4).Xerox Golden Lions 30 (10) - Tries: Ruben Schoeman, Tyrone Green, Pieter Jansen. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (3). Penalty Goals: Shaun Reynolds (3).